In her welcoming address, the vice principal of Gambia College, Madam Isatou Ndow said: “International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on 8th March annually to recognise the economic, social and political achievement of women in the past and present. The day is not just to commemorate the achievements of women but also to empower them. The day is to highlight the achievements registered by the women and challenges facing them. It is important to celebrate International Women’s Day because we all know women are doing many things particularly Gambian women. They are working in different sectors and contributing immensely to the socio-economic advancement of the country. Therefore, it is necessary to celebrate International Women’s Day.”
For her part, Rohey Jammeh of the ministry of health representing the chief nursing officer, stated that International Women’s Day is worth celebrating, because women are care givers at our homes. “But if women want to lead, they should possess qualities that will motivate people to follow them. Discipline is the foundation of any person most especially as women,” she asaid.
“The health of the women must be taken care of by the government of the Gambia through the ministry of health as declared free maternal and child health service to reduce the maternal and child mortality and mobility in The Gambia. Professionals are also trained by the Gambia government to give services to those women who need it. We want our men to support women in delivering maternal and child health services, when our fellow women lead lest support don’t tear them.” She added.
Halimatou Colley of Women’s Bureau representing the director of Women’s Bureau, said Gambian women constitute 58 percent of the population in the 2003 Integrated Housing Survey. She noted that only 10 percent of representation in the National Assembly is found to be women, while in Cabinet women representation is at 33 percent. “Women are 39.4 percent of permanent secretaries and 20 percent of directors. In recognition of the fact that there cannot be no meaningful development without the full and active participation of women, the government has appointed women to key positions, “she said. “Thus the nation has been able to boast of several female ministers of women’s affairs, basics and secondary education, foreign affairs, petroleum as well as attorney-general and minister of justice,” she added.
Bintou Fatty, of the Governor’s Office Region Two representing the governor of West Coast Region commended the Gambia College Students’ Union for organising such a forum in the college.
She added: “The government of The Gambia is fully aware of the fact that there cannot be any meaningful development without the full and active participation of its citizenry particularly women and girls. This is why International Women’s Day is commemorated every year and this step taken by Gambia College Students’ Union is a step in the right direction. The involvement of women in leadership position is crucial particularly in addressing structural relations that exist between men and women.”
Mr Ebrima Bah, the president of Gambia College Students’ Union, commended Gambian women for their hard work and the service they are rendering to the nation. He described the day as very significant to women, adding adding ‘International Women’s Day is not only to celebrate but also to reflect on the challenges facing the women such as sexual abuse and force marriage and among others.”
The event was marked by a march past by the students starting from the Total Petrol Station in Brikama to the College Campus. Theme for this year’s celebration was ‘Women in Leadership’.]]>